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Category Archives: Luddism

The problem isn’t the robots…it’s the bosses

Let us begin with two stories: Sam is nervous. Having applied for a job, Sam is now waiting to be interviewed for the position. Fidgeting slightly in the waiting room … Continue reading

March 17, 2017 · 3 Comments

Prefixes in Uncertain Times: Reconfiguring the Human in the Human-Built World

One could be easily forgiven for thinking that the present is a troubling time to be human. The specter of catastrophic climate change looms larger by the week, rapidly appearing … Continue reading

June 8, 2016 · 3 Comments

Not Ludd, Just Ludicrous – The Luddite Awards are Absurd

The bestowing of awards often has a rather self-congratulatory aspect. After all, the giving of such honors is an opportunity for an industry to praise itself by touting the fine … Continue reading

January 29, 2016 · 2 Comments

What to Get the Luddite on Your List

‘Tis the season of the mailbox stuffed with catalogs. Regardless of whether or not one participates in the traditions that result in stockings stuffed with tchotchkes or trees bedecked in … Continue reading

December 16, 2015 · 3 Comments

Loving Technology – Regardless of the Era (or Error)

Spending an afternoon at a Renaissance Festival presents an individual with the opportunity to indulge in a mythologized version of the past without having to worry about contracting any diseases … Continue reading

September 22, 2015 · 2 Comments

Has General Ludd been seen in France?

General Ludd has recently been sighted in France. At least that is what one might be led to believe based on stories about French taxi drivers protesting against Uber. After … Continue reading

July 8, 2015 · 1 Comment

Warding off General Ludd – The Absurdity of “The Luddite Awards”

Of all the dangers looming over humanity no threat is greater than that posed by the Luddites. If the previous sentence seems absurdly hyperbolic, know that it only seems that … Continue reading

January 7, 2015 · 9 Comments

Who Was Captain Swing?

General Ludd, and the army of redressers that gathered behind his name, has become something of an all-purpose avatar for any attitude towards technology that is less than fawning. Whether … Continue reading

August 28, 2014 · 6 Comments

The Luddite Response

Would it be fair to call those who advocate for online privacy Luddites? It seems a rather absurd question. After all, those who encourage people to use TOR, encryption, or … Continue reading

July 28, 2014 · 6 Comments

Who’s Afraid of General Ludd?

When a person – or a group of persons – dares to oppose a new technological development it is inevitable that somebody will call them a “Luddite(s).” The application of … Continue reading

June 17, 2014 · 19 Comments

Trading Sledgehammers for Pillows: the curious case of Reform Luddism

Though they may have been destroyed by force, turned into clownish specters, or nearly forgotten – social movements of sow their seeds deeply in the resistant imagination. Thus it is … Continue reading

February 4, 2014 · 6 Comments

From Ned to Ted to Red – General Ludd on the Blacklist

General Ludd is a television star! At last! Only, not so much a star as a crudely rendered villain, portrayed in such a way that rather sadly fits with the … Continue reading

November 21, 2013 · 5 Comments

These Tablets Won’t Cure What Ails Education

In contemporary times it seems that whenever there is a crisis and a question about “what is to be done,” amongst the most popular answers will be one involving technology. … Continue reading

September 19, 2013 · Leave a comment

Luddism for These Ludicrous Times

A specter is haunting our technological society – it is the specter of General Ludd. Granted, Luddite is generally not considered to be a complementary term. Most of the time, … Continue reading

August 12, 2013 · 70 Comments

One Weekend in the Woods is not an Ideology

Though most technology comes equipped with an off switch, many people seem to have forgotten this detail. As digital, Internet enabled, technology has moved from clunky desktop computer, to ever … Continue reading

July 11, 2013 · 6 Comments

Do Robots Play Solitaire When the Boss Isn’t Looking?

Robots! What is your reaction to that word? Does it conjure up images of bumbling sci-fi sidekicks or heartless dystopian killing machines? Logical humanoid companions, servile slaves, or the thing … Continue reading

May 16, 2013 · 2 Comments

A Year Without the Internet (but with everything else)

Regardless of whether a person believes that humans (in some evolutionary form) have been present on Earth for tens of thousands of years or whether they believe that humans arrived … Continue reading

May 5, 2013 · 4 Comments

While We Were Distracted…CISPA Passed in the House

When the news cycle is focused on tragic events it is all too easy for other important stories to be ignored, particularly stories that might not have garnered much attention … Continue reading

April 22, 2013 · 3 Comments

The Specter of General Ludd at SXSW

The SXSW festival, held annually in Austin, Texas, is something of a bacchanal to the new. While many are familiar with the festival for its music and film components it … Continue reading

March 25, 2013 · 8 Comments

Through the Google Glass

Did you know that secretly recording somebody is illegal in California? James O’Keefe, the conservative provocateur behind such doctored classics as “ACORN assists in prostitution,” has recently received a pricy … Continue reading

March 17, 2013 · 18 Comments

Ethics and Buying a Smartphone (with help from Simone and Simon)

Many people have at least a passing concern for where the things they use and consume come from. Was your shirt sewn in a sweatshop? Was your coffee purchased from … Continue reading

March 14, 2013 · 9 Comments

You Have Already Opted-In

Have you ever walked around in a store, or by a shop window, and had a momentary odd feeling upon recognizing that you were on camera? Or, have you become … Continue reading

March 8, 2013 · 4 Comments

Choosing a New “ism” to Dread

It’s always fun to have a new ism. You can ponder the issues raised by the ism, write a book warning an unaware public about this ism (that you may … Continue reading

March 4, 2013 · 33 Comments

Douglass Rushkoff Quits Facebook (surprising nobody)

Apropos of my post about the smart phone (here), it is incumbent upon me to mention that if the filing cabinet on you is your smart phone than most of … Continue reading

March 3, 2013 · 2 Comments

The Stasi Agent in Your Pocket

Begin overly simplistic plot summary: in the film The Lives of Others a playwright in East Berlin is monitored by Stasi agents (the Stasi were the secret police in the … Continue reading

March 1, 2013 · 4 Comments

7 Questions for New Technology (Part 1)

Our hands have become very full of late. I mean this in a very literal sense. When I ride the subway in the morning it seems that almost every person … Continue reading

February 26, 2013 · 2 Comments

Neil Postman’s 6 Questions (+1 from me)

Keeping apace with changes in technology can drive a person mad, especially as the speed of technological shifts seems to be increasing constantly. Indeed that state-of-art piece of shiny tech … Continue reading

February 14, 2013 · 37 Comments

An Obituary for the E-Reader

Do you remember MiniDiscs? If so, kudos to you. But if not, know that you are far from alone. For a brief moment in the 90s MiniDiscs seemed like they … Continue reading

February 10, 2013 · 5 Comments

“Why elites” don’t care if you “fear the robot.”

Are fears of robots being peddled to the delight of the “elite?” No. They are not. Okay, maybe. But let me rephrase this: “elites” trying to make people “fear the … Continue reading

February 6, 2013 · 1 Comment

Paul Krugman, Robots, Economic Inequality

Apparently machines are taking jobs that used to be performed by humans and this is having negative effects. Is this the plot to some new Science Fiction film or the … Continue reading

February 3, 2013 · 1 Comment

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